“A poor boy spent the last three dollars he had for lunch to pay for an unknown woman’s bus fare. The next day, she unexpectedly met him at his school and took him to the principal, moving him to tears by revealing something he had never imagined. “Bye Mom, don’t forget to make my pie!” shouted 12-year-old Jake after kissing his mother Susan goodbye. He was late for school and anxiously waiting for the bus.
Moments later, the bus pulled over and Jake hopped in, assuming it was just going to be an ordinary ride to school. “Thank goodness Mom gave me six dollars, or else I had to walk all the way to school when I’m already late,” he thought. The bus came to a halt, picking up Crystal, a 56-year-old woman from the next stop. The bus quickly filled up, and Crystal looked around for an empty seat. She smelled funky and looked dirty and wet.
Some passengers frowned at her, but she was least bothered about them. Moments later, she wobbled through the crowd toward an empty seat just two seats away from Jake. “Tickets, please,” said the conductor to the new passengers on the bus. “Tickets, tickets, where to? Three dollars, please.
The conductor gave away tickets and collected money from the passengers until he finally reached Crystal’s seat. “Ticket,” he said again, staring at her. The man was sure he hadn’t collected money from her yet and that she hadn’t bought a ticket from him. “Hurry up, what are you digging in your bag, lady? Make it quick, give me three dollars, hurry up!
Crystal’s face slowly started to flush red. “One second, I’m looking for my purse,” she replied. She was so loud that the others around started staring at her. “Be ready with the change, I’ll be right back,” the conductor retorted, walking further inside to tend to the other passengers. Five minutes later, he returned to Crystal and stared at her, extending his hand for the money.
“Make it fast, lady, give me the change and take your ticket.” “I, um, I don’t have any money. I forgot to bring my purse,” Crystal stammered, embarrassed. The conductor frowned. “I’ll just get down at the next stop.
I’m sorry, I have no money to pay you.” “Don’t have money for the ticket?” yelled the conductor as the crowd of passengers turned toward Crystal all at once. “Lady, this is not a charity ride that picks up beggars for free. I’m stopping the bus right now.
Get out!” Crystal was startled. She’d never met anybody before who was so rude and unkind to her, let alone in public. “Are you deaf, lady? Didn’t you hear me?
Take your bag and move it. We ain’t running a charity here. Driver, pull over!” Jake witnessed everything and was disappointed at how the conductor treated the poor woman. He remembered he still had some change.
“Hey, watch your words, conductor! And hey there, your ticket is on me!” yelled Jake, amassing all the attention from onlookers. “Here’s your three dollars, give her a ticket,” he said to the conductor, beating through the crowd and hurling the money in his hand. “Dear, come sit beside me,” invited Crystal after the person near her got down at the next stop.
“Thank you, sweetheart. I am forever grateful to you.” “Ah, that’s okay. I don’t have a grandma, and you must be her age. I just did what I would do if she was here,” replied Jake, taking Crystal’s words of gratitude casually.
“Still, nobody stepped forward for me, and they were all just watching. Only you had the heart to take a stand for me. What is your name, dear?” “Pleased to meet you, Jake. I’m Crystal.
Are you going to school?” “Yes,” sighed Jake. “That’s a long story, and I’m grateful I’m even going to school now.” “Why do you say that, sweetheart? What happened?
interrupted Crystal, curious to know more. “Is something wrong?” “Long story short, I wanted to go to a private school where they have a nice ballpark. I want to become a baseball player, but my current school isn’t private. It does not have such amenities that rich schools have,” revealed Jake.
“So you want to be a baseball player? That’s cool,” Crystal said and treated. “But I don’t want to trouble my mom. She’s already working hard in the restaurant to raise my sister and me. I’m grateful that she can still send me to school.
“Your dad, what does he do?” “Ah, Dad’s no more. He passed away in an accident two years ago when I was in fifth grade.” “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that, honey.” “That’s okay.
All right, Grandma, we’ve arrived at my school. I’ll leave now. It was nice meeting you, and you can keep the three dollars. I think that was from your grandson. Bye-bye.
Crystal was touched by Jake’s warm heart. She stared a second time at his school, watching his silhouette disappear inside the gate. “I’ll come back for you. I will be here soon, Jake,” she said and kept her word. The next day, when she paid the school a surprise visit in her expensive Mercedes, “Grandma, what a surprise!
What are you doing here?” exclaimed Jake after seeing Crystal outside his class the next day. “Well, well, I came here to see you. Please follow me to your principal’s office,” said Crystal, confusing Jake, who had no idea how his life would change. Crystal greeted the principal and told him about her encounter with Jake.
“My car broke down. I was waiting to get a lift from someone when a car splashed dirty, muddy water on me. Then I boarded a bus, forgetting to take my phone and wallet from my car. I didn’t know what to do when I realized I had no money for the bus fare. That conductor was so mean.
Thank God Jake stepped up for me.” Crystal turned out to be a wealthy woman and a retired architect, contrary to what the people on the bus must have thought of her as a poor, dirty woman. “You must be really proud of your students,” she told the principal. Jake was speechless and teary-eyed, unaware that the bigger part of Crystal’s surprise was still waiting for him outside the principal’s office. “Jake, honey, do you mind visiting your field?
I have a surprise for you there,” said Crystal. Jake did as she told him. He hurried to the school playground, only to gasp in astonishment. Crystal had hired top-class planners to transform the barren ground into a massive baseball ballpark with A-class amenities that private schools had. “This is unbelievable!
exclaimed Jake, staring at the latest equipment being installed for the new ballpark in his school. “Do you like it, Jake?” “I’d love it,” he said, tears filling his eyes. Crystal helped the management hire an experienced baseball coach. As an added bonus, she also offered to sponsor and represent the school in all state-level matches.
“Thank you, Mrs. Warren. We don’t know how to repay you,” said the principal. “Well, you don’t have to repay me with money, but you can do it by raising wonderful kids like Jake,” replied Crystal, watching Jake and his friends running about, enjoying the field.”